Thu | Nov 30, 2023

Former regiment commanding officer jailed for corruption

Published:Friday | January 27, 2023 | 12:43 AM


David Curley, a former commanding officer of the Royal Bermuda Regiment (RBR), has been jailed by a Supreme Court judge after admitting to a charge of official corruption.

Curley, 55, had pleaded guilty last July to asking Justin Williams, a prominent lawyer who died in the United States in November 2021, for a nomination to join the Order of St John in exchange for firearms and an appointment as legal adviser to the regiment.

The offence took place over several months in 2015 before Curley’s promotion to head of the RBR with the rank of lieutenant-colonel in February 2016.

At Wednesday’s hearing, Puisne Judge Juan Wolffe jailed Curley for 18 months, with 12 months to be suspended for a year.

Mr Justice Wolffe said a term of imprisonment was necessary to send out a deterrent message.

At a pre-sentence hearing last month, Curley, a father of two, described how his crime had wrecked his life.

After serving in the regiment for 30 years, he was placed on leave in 2019. He has since been unable to find work, and his marriage ended.

He said: “You try to take one day at a time, but it’s difficult to do that. I think about it every day – it’s a horrible place to be.”

At the time of his death 14 months ago from kidney failure and COVID-19, Williams, a former Bermuda Bar Council president, had been named in Supreme Court corruption charges, but his lawyer, Jerome Lynch, said an indictment was never served on his client.

Police had announced on New Year’s Eve 2019 that they were seeking the return of Williams to Bermuda from the United States, to be interviewed as part of a criminal investigation.